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A review published in The Lancet named high body mass index and smoking as influential factors, as well as racism. The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit found 12 percent of all stillbirths, one percent of premature births and 17 percent of births with growth restriction can be attributed to ethnic inequality.
Disparity between the least and most deprived groups was 0.3 and 0.5 percent for stillbirths, 4.9 percent and 7.2 percent for premature births, and 1.2 percent and 2.2 percent for risk of foetal growth restriction.
Professor Jan van der Meulen, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said only “a concerted effort to tackle inequalities” will make pregnancy safer.
Some 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year.
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